Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Comprehensive Assessment of System Safety

San Jose, CA
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
TRA performed a special assessment of VTA’s agency-wide safety function and integration, spurred in part by five specific VTA safety incidents. VTA’s management chose to turn the five safety incidents into a proactive and cross-sectional review of safety buy-in and efficacy at the authority.

TRA developed, executed, and reported on four discrete but related areas: The first area was a holistic assessment of the five safety incidents, wherein TRA reviewed their relationships and implications for overall VTA safety effectiveness. TRA then refined three further tasks, including a broad assessment of operations and maintenance safety issues, a review of safety department effectiveness and resources, and an assessment of VTA-wide management and measurement tools as they relate to safety.


TRA’s work at VTA involved detailed, on-site examination of incident and accident sites, documents, and equipment; multiple interviews with operations, maintenance, and safety personnel; and close examination of existing organizational and reporting structures. The operations, maintenance, and safety assessment tasks also involved detailed business process assessments and analyses, and related on-site verification.

TRA’s final report included recommendations and findings for the five specific incidents VTA identified, as well as for more fundamental business process and safety management issues.

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